It’s a valley-wide party, with a race in there as well
by Than Acuff
While Mother Nature did all she could to quash the stoke on Sunday, April 28, nearly 90 athletes of all abilities defied her with vim and vigor to pull off the seventh annual CB3P, a ski, bike and boat race from the base of Crested Butte Mountain Resort to the shores of the Gunnison Whitewater Park.
Rain that soon turned to snow greeted the participants as they lined up for the Le Mans-style start at the base of CBMR at 10 a.m. but the energy was high.
“It was the worst weather the event has ever seen,” says race creator/director Tiff Simpson. “I was shocked that people were smiling and laughing. The stoke was so high despite the conditions being awful.”
But skiing in snow was the least of the participants’ worries. It was the bike portion that really stung, as racers rode bikes for 27.3 miles on Highway 135 amid drizzle mixed with rain as temperatures hovered in the high 40s.
“Brutal,” said more than one participant at the finish line.
“The road ride was epic for a lot of people, depending on the window in the weather that they hit,” says Simpson.
But as racers trickled into the finish line at the Gunnison Whitewater Park, some of them swimming to the finish line, the energy remained positive as the weather cooperated with a mix of sun and clouds and warmer temperatures.
“Thankfully, Gunnison was pretty warm and sunny,” says Simpson. “People came across the finish line worked but once they got a beer in their hand, everyone was happy. Thank God we live in a town where people like to suffer.”
As for next year, Simpson has every intention of putting together the eighth annual CB3P.
“We’ll do it again,” says Simpson. “There are some changes coming to the event so I can’t say exactly what it will look like but it’s my baby and the one way I can give back to the community and I certainly don’t want to stop doing it.”
Once bills have been paid and the numbers crunched, Simpson will then hand a check over to the Center for Mental Health, this year’s non-profit recipient.